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Avia B.122

The Avia B.122, a single-seat biplane aerobatic aircraft, originated in Czechoslovakia and underwent development during the mid-1930s.

It played a role in the initial stages of World War II.

In the spring of 1934, the Czechoslovak Army Command made the decision to have some Czechoslovak Air Force pilots take part in the international aerobatic competition Coupe Mondiale in Vincennes, Paris, on 9–10 June.

Avia, the Czechoslovakian aircraft manufacturer, was tasked with creating an aircraft for this purpose.

The prototype, B.122, was unveiled after just six weeks.

The Czechoslovak pilots had a limited amount of time to familiarise themselves with the aircraft, as the competition was scheduled for July 1934.

Fortunately, the design proved to be successful, leading to Czechoslovak pilots securing the 4th (František Novák) and 8th (Ján Ambruš) positions in the competition.

Following the pilots’ feedback, the aircraft underwent modifications, resulting in the enhanced Ba.122 version.

This model featured a larger rudder and ailerons on both upper and lower wings.

During the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, the German Aeroclub organized the “Internationaler Kunstflugwettbewerbs” where Czechoslovak pilots achieved 2nd (Petr Široký), 3rd (František Novák), and 8th place (Ján Ambruš) with their Avias.

The new engine Avia RK-17 was introduced in this competition with aircraft Ba.122.7 (OK-AWE) and Ba.122.8 (OK-AWA).

In 1937, Avias secured 1st and 3rd place at the International Aviation Meeting in Zurich.

Some of these planes were equipped with nine-cylinder Walter Pollux engines to meet the requirements for aircraft with engines above 20L.

These achievements led to export orders from the Soviet Union and Romania.

Subsequently, the aircraft evolved into prototypes Ba.222, Ba.322, and Ba.422.

The Czechoslovak Ministry of Defence ordered 45 Bs.122 trainers, but the outbreak of World War II halted further progress.

Some Avias were integrated into the German Luftwaffe after parts of Czechoslovakia were annexed by Nazi Germany in 1939, while others were sold to the Slovakian and Bulgarian air forces.



3 prototype machines with Walter Castor II engine, B-122.2 and .3 later modified to Ba.122 standard


improved variant with ailerons on both wings and enlarged rudder, mostly with Avia RK-17 engine


Ba.122 with NACA cowling and wheel pants


Ba.122 with upper gull wing to improve front visibility in inverted flight


Military trainer variant of the Ba.122, staggered wings, Walter Castor II engine


Bš-122 with enclosed cockpit and Townend cowling






6.80 m (22 ft 4 in)


8.85 m (29 ft 0 in)


2.84 m (9 ft 4 in)

Wing area

22.55 m2 (242.7 sq ft)


Clark Y

Empty weight

780 kg (1,720 lb)

Gross weight

1,080 kg (2,381 lb)


1 × Avia RK-17,

310 kW (420 hp)


Maximum speed

270 km/h (168 mph, 146 kn)

Cruise speed

230 km/h (143 mph, 124 kn)


575 km (357 mi, 310 nmi)

Service ceiling

7,000 m (22,300 ft)

G limits

 +18, -12 ultimate

Time to altitude

6 min to 10,000ft


3,5 kg/kW, 5,66 lbs/hp

Czechoslovakian Air Force, 1918-1970, Aircam Aviation Special 05-Richard Ward, Zdenek Titz & Gordon C. Davies.
Ceskoslovenské Letectvo, 1918-1924-Jiří Rajlich & Jiří Sehnal.

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